ABB wins $107 million power order in Africa

Refurbishment to extend life of energy-efficient HVDC power link and enhance grid reliability

Zurich, Switzerland, Feb. 15, 2010 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $107million from SNEL (Société Nationale d’Électricité), the national power company in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to upgrade key technology on one of the world’s longest electricity transmission systems.The contract was signed in the fourth quarter of 2009.

ABB will refurbish the stations that convert alternating current to direct current and back on the 560 megawatt Inga-Kolwezi power transmission link. The 1,700 kilometer system was built by ABB in 1982 and was, at that time, the world’s longest transmission line.

The link uses HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology to transmit power from the Inga Falls hydropower station on the Congo River to the mining district of Katanga in the south-east of the country. It also enables excess power to be exported to the Southern African Power Pool countries.

ABB will be responsible for system engineering, including design, supply and installation of new thyristor valves, high-voltage apparatus and ABB’s MACH2 control and protection system. The project is scheduled for delivery in 2013.

”This refurbishment will enhance the reliability of the grid and ensure efficient transmission of hydro electricity across the region,“ said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. “We are delighted to contribute to the development of the power infrastructure in the country and remain committed to the harnessing of renewable energy.”

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology more than 50 years ago and has extensive experience in both new installations and refurbishments in the sector. ABB continues to be the global leader in this high-efficiency technology, having completed more than 70 HVDC projects around the world, with a total transmission capacity of over 60,000 MW

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people.

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